'Arguably one of the best players since we arrived' - Danny Cowley on how Portsmouth cope without Jack Whatmough

Danny Cowley has rued the ongoing absence of Jack Whatmough.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 5:00 pm
Against AFC Wimbledon, Jack Whatmough will serve the final match of his four-game ban. Picture: Joe Pepler

But he is convinced Pompey still possess the options to tighten up defensively at AFC Wimbledon for the 24-year-old’s last match missing.

Whatmough was handed a four-game suspension earlier this month following his red card at MK Dons – his second of the campaign.

Subsequently, the Blues have shipped in three goals in each of their trips to Swindon (3-1) and Accrington (3-3).

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They are on the road once more on Saturday, in a must-win occasion to strengthen play-off hopes.

But Whatmough will again be on the sidelines as he serves out the final fixture of his ban.

Cowley told The News: ‘We miss Jack, he has arguably been one of the best players since we’ve arrived, really consistent.

‘You are always going to miss your key players, but he’s not available and we have to find a way.

‘We’ve had lots of challenges with both suspensions and injuries. We can either moan, whinge or make excuses – or you can find a way.

‘Bearing in mind we’ve lost Jack, we’ve been fortunate that defence is the one position where we have got competition for places.

‘All of our focus at this moment is Wimbledon, but as soon as Jack is available, he is going to put his hand up and give us the selection dilemmas that we want.

‘We always want competition for places. It has hurt us that we haven’t had enough competition at the top end of the pitch.’

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James Bolton was recalled to Pompey’s side in a back three at Accrington on Tuesday night.

Despite his substitution at half time, he remains an option, at Wimbledon should Cowley stick with the system.

Alternatively, with Lee Brown coming back, Cowley could return to a back four.

The Blues’ head coach added: ‘James (Bolton) is a fantastic professional footballer. If I could bottle his attitude and work ethic, I would be a rich man.

‘He gets the very, very most out of himself, every single game. I have absolutely huge admiration for James.’

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